Staff Reporter

Senior police official Rakesh Maria calls for anticipatory action

Police need to forecast and anticipate all possible scenarios

Terror planners have realised that the police informant network is good among the underworld

Mumbai: The advent of the educated terrorist has made it increasingly difficult for the police to extract information on terror networks, admitted Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Rakesh Maria.

In a lecture on Wednesday at the Mumbai Press Club on “Mumbai’s Changing Crime Scenario,” Mr. Maria said the educated terrorist did not frequent bars, prostitutes, gambling dens, had no past criminal record and knew how to cover his tracks. The Indian Mujahideen was a case in point.

The recent terror attack on Sri Lankan cricketers in Lahore, which came after the Mumbai attacks, called for anticipatory action on the part of the police. “We need to forecast and anticipate all possible scenarios.”

These terror groups worked in small groups except in the case of the Indian Mujahideen. They had a similarity of interest, a similar perception of injustice and jihad.

“You need your own people to go undercover to develop informants. The task is pretty tough,” Mr. Maria said.

Main reason

The main reason for a void in the human intelligence network was the breakdown of nexus between the Mumbai underworld and terror planners across the borders.

“Perhaps the planners realised that our informant network was good among the underworld. Now there are scouts who look for targets and indoctrinate them. Then they are sent for training to Pakistan.”

Pointing to a new trend, Mr. Maria said jails were becoming a hotbed of indoctrination and a lot of petty criminals were coming out infused with ideas of jihad. “In the jails we cannot tell who they will meet.”

Tracing the history of crime in Mumbai from the 1960s, he identified terrorism and organised crime as main priorities.

In addition, he highlighted a rise in cyber crime, economic offences and vehicle thefts.

During the time of elections, thefts of Scorpios and Taveras go up as the demand for them in the northern States rises, Mr. Maria said.